First up in our Flashback Friday series is our adventure in the uniquely hip town of Portland back in 2017.

We explored downtown PDX, paid a visit to the giraffes at the Oregon Zoo, toured Nike WHQ, and got really drunk on the Brewcycle! But most importantly . . . we celebrated our favorite “third-wheeler”, May May, who had graduated from Linfield College with her BSN.

Day 1: Downtown Portland

We arrived a couple days before May’s graduation and ended up staying at her dorm – which was conveniently located in the middle of downtown Portland. Unfortunately, May still had some school/graduation tasks to complete so we ventured off on our own until she was done.

Our first day went something like this:

We headed off on foot to a cute little burger joint called the Little Big Burger – the petite burger was just the right size for me and the truffle fries were delicious!

Then we headed toward the Keller Fountain, which sadly had no water running at the time – but it was still worth photographing.

After a few photos, we walked some blocks toward Pioneer Courthouse Square to discover that it was under construction. Our sightseeing adventure was definitely off to a rough start . . . but the popular signpost was still accessible to view.

Then we walked passed the smallest park in the world – Mill’s End Park!

Biked along the waterfront and across bridges with a surrey! It was so fun! This was definitely the highlight of our day.

On our way back to May’s dorm, we decided to get dessert at Salt and Straw. The green apple & wasabi flower sorbet was just one of their many interesting and delicious flavors!

We also somehow fit in a workout at LA Fitness with May. Then we ended the day with a late meal at Santa Fe Restaurant and headed across the street for more ice cream at Salt and Straw. ūüôā

Day 2: Partying with the Animals

We started our second day at Stepping Stone and ordered the Smothered Badass. It was a fun and casual cafe with KISS figurines sitting on top of hanging Christmas ornaments.

Then we hopped on the light rail and made our way to the Oregon Zoo!

After a full day at the zoo, May brought us to an Indian restaurant called Swagat. The chicken makhani was bomb!

Day 3: Pancakes, Nike and Beer

Met up with a WAZZU alum and tried the belly stuffed pancakes at Batter Griddle and Drinkery for breakfast.

Then we made our way to Beaverton to meet up with Jermaine (Phase 2) who gave us a tour around the Nike WHQ campus. Beautiful campus with a slide at the parking garage!

Then we ended the night pedaling our way to one brewery to the next. Let’s just say, the night was a blur – but the celebrant was thoroughly entertained!

Day 4: Food & Family

The rest of the family arrived in Portland and May received her nursing pin!

We all ate at our first dim sum restaurant at Wahjin and visited Pine Street Market for some really good ramen at Marukin Ramen.

We went on a sightseeing spree starting at the Rose Garden and drove out to Multnomah Falls and the Vista House.

Then we ended the day at Southland for some ribs! It was a full day of good-quality family time!

Day 5: Graduation

We drove out to the Linfield College main campus to see May receive her diploma. We knew very well that it wasn’t the easiest journey to get through nursing school, which made her graduation that much sweeter. We are so proud of you, May May!

The trip definitely went by fast. We hope to visit again one day! Next time we will plan some adventures exploring the many trails around Oregon.

A Bride’s Last Ride (LA to San Fransisco)

My older sister, Malissa, got married on June 24, 2017!

However, before the big day, we went on a road trip along the¬†Californian coast to¬†not only celebrate her last days of being single¬†but to spend time together before she entered a new and exciting chapter in her life! Malissa was indecisive in determining where she wanted to celebrate her bachelorette and suggested multiple places…so I eventually proposed the idea of a road trip. Exploration and adventure were the¬†priority and so a road trip from Los Angeles to San Fransisco became the plan!


Day 1: Los Angeles

We were joined by our younger sister, May, and friends, Tiffany and Kristine (“Tin”). We all arrived by plane to Los Angeles and met at the rental car company before driving to our first hotel. We stayed one night at the Baymount Inn Hotel where I accidentally¬†reserved a smoking room. Not a great start to the trip…but the excitement of the upcoming road trip kept us in good spirits.

LA was just a starting point for us and we didn’t plan to explore it as a group. However, I was glad Malissa and Tin arrived a few days earlier to enjoy the numerous activities and sights LA had to offer. I was fortunate enough to visit LA a couple of times last year…you can read more about it here¬†(Santa Monica/ Little Tokyo), here¬†(Downtown LA), here¬†(Staple Center/Lakers Game) and here¬†(Adele Concert).


Day 2: Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo

We began our road trip with some coffee and made an early start toward Santa Barbara on Highway 101 North. May May was our fearless driver for the trip!


Since we ate breakfast at the hotel, we didn’t stop to eat and drove straight to the Santa Barbara Courthouse Tower which had an incredible panoramic view of the city!

IMG_1648IMG_1650.JPGIMG_1651 2.JPGIMG_1652IMG_1785.JPG

Santa Barabara is a beautiful small town. From the red-tile clay roofs to the street names, this town is heavily influenced by the Spanish. At the tower, we bumped into a couple who just got married. I have to admit, this place would be a gorgeous place to have a court wedding; there is a lot of great places to take photos inside and out.

We spent a little longer than planned at the tower, but we enjoyed our time exploring the halls of the Santa Barbara Courthouse – it’s definitely a must-see if you come to visit!


After Santa Barbara, we continued on Highway 101 North to Highway 154 West toward the next town on our list, Solvang!


Solvang is a quaint little Dutch-inspired town with a unique feel and cute architecture. It felt like Disney’s Snow White inspired¬†village. We wondered the streets eating pastries, drinking wine and exploring antique shops!


From a lovely Spanish town to a cute Dutch village, you won’t believe where we ended up next! As we drove to our next destination we passed by an Ostrich Farm which is also known as Ostrich Land! This spontaneous stop was definitely the highlight of the day for me!


The farm had not only ostriches but emus as well! There was a $5 entry fee into the farm. May tried feeding the ostriches with her hands…which didn’t go so well. The ostrich ended up biting her fingers instead! Apparently, we weren’t supposed to feed them with our hands. Oopsies!

Tiffany also got a chance to pet an emu! But, it just so happened that touching the birds weren’t allowed too. ¬†All our excitement led us to break all the rules, which we clearly didn’t read.


The emus were making a certain noise that reminded me of dinosaurs…and for a second, I felt like I was in Jurassic Park. The experience was a bit surreal…it’s not every day you see massive birds like emus!

After all that fun at Ostrich Land, we continued north on Highway 101 North toward our next destination – San Luis Obispo!

IMG_1844.JPGIMG_1845 2

We booked a room at the most interesting and unique hotel resort in the area, the Madonna Inn. Each room had its own theme and we stayed in the China Flower room! We loved the whimsical decor!


Before settling into our rooms, we made our way to Avila Beach to watch the sunset. From the sound of the crashing waves, the feeling of sand under our feet and the pastel colors that covered the sky…it was a perfect ending to our long adventurous day!


After the beach, we ended the day with some drinks, cake, and food at the Madonna Inn.


Day 3: San Luis Obispo to Big Sur

We got up early to catch a tour at the infamous Hearst Castle located in San Simeon. Unfortunately, the air in our tires was low and we had to take an unexpected pit stop. We arrived at the visitor center of Hearst Castle just as our bus left! It was sad that we missed our tour, but we continued our roadtrip toward Piers Blancas which had a beach full of Elephant Seals!

17795868_10100283405839863_567543332135569671_n.jpgIMG_1856.JPGThere was a nice boardwalk along the beach making it easy to view the seals. We didn’t stay too long since it was pretty windy at the time, but it was worth the quick stop!


With the northern section of Highway 1 closed due to damages from heavy rains and mud slides, we took a detour onto Highway 101. As we turned off Highway 1, we drove through a lush green valley – it was a very pretty sight.


Along the way to Big Sur, we stopped by the quaint town near Monterey called Carmel By the Sea and ate dinner at Porta Bella, a Mediterranian restaurant. Delicious food and great service! They even gave us free dessert!


Caramel By the Sea at sundown had a fairy tale vibe. It was very pretty and dreamlike. As we drove past the town on Highway 1 toward Big Sur, we were fortunate enough to drive along the coast right before sunset, which made for a gorgeous ride to Big Sur.


We stayed in a nice cabin near the river. It had a full kitchen, one bathroom, and two bedrooms. It was a pretty spectacular cabin…and this campground is a great place for families to enjoy the wilderness and unplug.


The first thing we did when we arrived at the cabin was light a fire…or at least attempted to light one. Our success was a bit spotty but May and Tin’s determination didn’t yield and they eventually made the cabin warmer. After a long day of driving, we spent the evening sipping wine and chatting the night away.


Day 4: Big Sur to San Fransisco

We made an early start the next morning and drove up north toward San Fransisco. We made stops along the way to enjoy the sights including the Bixby Creek Bridge.


We were welcomed by traffic as soon as we made it to the city.


First things first…we were hungry and Tiffany had suggested a Filipino fusion food truck called Senor Sisig! It took longer than expected to find it, but we were able to find one just in the knick of time…we were their last customers for the day.


The fusion burrito definitely hit the spot! So delicious. After eating we headed straight to the movie theater to watch Beauty and the Beast, which was awesome.


After checking into our AirBnB apartment near the wharf, ¬†we spent our first night at a karaoke bar! We reserved a small private room at the Playground where we ordered soju and Korean dishes! The food and drinks were even delivered to our room! It was an extremely fun night drunkenly singing popular 90’s music and eating delicious food. I wished it had last longer!

Day 5: San Fransisco to Napa Valley


Being hungover from the night before, we made a late start to Napa Valley. However, before heading to Napa we stopped at our cousin Janette’s house and carpooled with her to Castello di Amarosa, a beautiful chateau tucked in the hills of Napa Valley.


The castle was surrounded by a moat! How cool is that?!


Janette definitely hooked it up with her membership discount…the place was gorgeous.


After trying out the different wines at the wine tasting room, it was time to head back for the grand finale of the trip.


That night we went clubbing at Temple. We had our own booth and danced the night away!

Day 6: The End of the Road Trip


To help ease the hangovers, we went to a little ramen spot for some miso ramen!


We spent the time we had left in the city sightseeing. We visited the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and the house featured on the TV show, Full House.

Reflecting back it was a pretty epic trip and I’m so glad we were able to make it happen…and with good company! My sisters and I all live in different states and this type of trip was long over due. It was fun meeting and getting to know Tiffany and Tin…and this trip wouldn’t have been the same without them.

Until next time!

Home for the Holidays

This is post numero dos of my “late post” series! I recently found out that my coworker is going on an Alaskan cruise with her family next week and learning about her excursions made me miss Alaskan summers! But, if I had to choose to visit Alaska during the summer or during the holidays…spending the holidays with my Alaskan fam bam always wins! With that said, I was fortunate enough to make it back home 6 months ago…

There is nothing like waking up to a sheet of white fresh snow on Christmas Day and spending the holidays with a buffet of Filipino food and a house full of loud family members! I love my Alaska familia!


It has been a few years since I came up to Alaska and I knew it was long overdue. Toni couldn’t come up for Christmas, but he was able to fly up for New Years! To my surprise, he secretly flew up to propose to me before the New Year! You can read more about it here. Anywho, since it was my first time back in so long I wanted to do something special for our annual Christmas photos. With the help of my sisters, we set up some drapes, umbrella lights and Christmas lights for the backdrop. It turned out great and I was really pleased with how the photos turned out!

On Christmas Eve, it is our tradition to stay up and open our gifts at midnight. We ate, drank, sang karaoke and hung out all night! It was really good to see and catch up with my Juneau fam and I¬†really missed everybody. I also can’t get over the fact how fast all my baby cousins¬†are growing!

For the rest of our trip, we went rock climbing and ice skating; hung out with friends; visited familiar places for some sightseeing; and ate…a lot!

DSC05467It is always a must to see these two!

IMG_1247.JPGRock Climbing with the see-stars!

DSC05771.jpgBeers after rock climbing and celebratory drinks for the newly engaged!

DSC05493A little XtraTuf reunion!

DSC05544.jpgVisiting Sandy Beach and taking graduation photos with Cente.

DSC05641.jpgMay May and a gorgeous backdrop…May May is gorgeous too!

DSC05796.jpgButt buddies.

DSC05776.jpgThere is a story behind this fire pit. On the day I arrived in Juneau, I went to an ugly sweater party at a bar with friends and family. I was in the middle of buying shots for everyone when they called out my raffle number for the grand prize! Say what!?!? It was my first day in Juneau and I won an amazing Alaskan Brewing Co. fire pit! I guess being drunk and generous that night brought some good karma.


On our last day together, my immediate family members and I visited Mendenhall Glacier which was absolutely beautiful. It was a winter wonderland!


It was truly an amazing trip filled with family, lots of laughter, and love. As I reflect back on these memories, it is becoming clear how fast time flies by as an adult. Years and months seemed so much longer in grade school! It’s crazy! These thoughts are a¬†nice reminder of how important it is to me to have a loving family, and I feel incredibly blessed to have them. Can’t wait for our next reunion! …on Maui?! (wink wink)


Backyard Firework Show

Happy Birthday, ‘Murica!


I hope you all had a nice 4th of July!

We typically are not the festive type when it comes to Independence Day, but Toni decided to dress up this year and wore an American¬†flag shirt…even at work. Like most holidays, we celebrated it with the Ong Family. We arrived just before dark and lit some small fireworks to kill some time. It was fun watching the little ones, Sophie and Trace, excite over the fireworks!


Sophie’s reactions to the fireworks were very animated…it was easy to tell she was excited. Trace, on the other hand, was somewhat hard to impress…he often had a more serious and curious look on his face. However, when the better fireworks were lit – he was in awe.

We spent the evening lighting up small ground fireworks and spinners while the beef and steak cooked on the grill. Sounds of firecrackers could be¬†heard throughout the neighborhood along with the occasional aerial firework (which is illegal here). As it grew darker, the breeze started to pick up causing the neighbor’s’ aerial fireworks to pop right above the house! We ended up having our own mini firework show in the backyard and watched the remaining aerials lit by nearby neighbors later in the night.

Here are some of our favorite shots from the evening:


Trace does his zombie walk back for more fireworks!


Like mother, like daughter.


…and like son!


Light more fireworks!


The finale.


We Are Engaged!

I’m a bit embarrassed to be posting this so late…but better late than never.

Toni and I are ENGAGED!

With all the events and trips that took place¬†in the past months, it has been difficult¬†finding time to blog or create any new videos. With the chaos now over, I am back from my hiatus! Now let’s go back to December 28, 2016.


I was in Alaska to spend the holidays with my family and Toni stayed on Maui because his request for leave didn’t get approved. Toni led me to believe he couldn’t make the trip at all and I left Maui thinking we would spend both Christmas and New Years apart. Little did I know…

On a¬†cold crisp morning, I woke up to my younger sister, May, telling me that everybody was downstairs waiting for me to come down for breakfast. When I finally agreed to get up, May commented how bad my hair looked and started combing it with her fingers. I was like “why does it matter?!”. She didn’t have much luck with my hair, but in hindsight, I really appreciated that she tried to make it look presentable! I made my way to the dining table half asleep…then the doorbell rang. I didn’t want to open the door because of my bed hair and Christmas jammies, but I was the closest to the door and lost the fight to everyone. I was expecting to open the door to relatives stopping by to drop¬†off gifts, but was pleasantly surprised to see Toni! I was so happy to see him and excited of that thought of spending New Years together with my Juneau Family! I honestly thought his surprise trip to Alaska was my Christmas present. I turned around for one second to share the excitement with my family and then found him on one knee when I turned back. Overwhelmed with happiness and excitement I teared¬†up and nodded my head when he asked me to marry him. Who would have guessed our marriage proposal would take place at the front door of my childhood home. What a sweet ending to 2016 and beginning of 2017. 2016 was definitely one to remember and I couldn’t imagine a better way to end it!


Flash forward to today – we have been incredibly busy these past months with weddings and family related events which will be shared in separate posts. Feels good to be blogging again after so long! Hopefully, I’ll be more consistent this time around.


Oahu: Last Day with the Crew

I feel so lucky to have friends that I cherish so much. It is crazy to think how fast time flies! Even though I am thousands of miles from¬†Lou and Judy, I still consider them my most dearest friends; they are basically like family to me. I can’t wait for our next reunion! Until next time you two!

2016-09-04 14.38.25.jpg 2016-09-04 14.38.39.jpg 2016-09-04 14.40.22-1.jpg 2016-09-04 14.40.37.jpg 2016-09-04 14.40.47.jpg 2016-09-04 14.40.50.jpg 2016-09-04 14.40.53.jpg 2016-09-04 15.28.44.jpg

Las Vegas: Judy’s Bachelorette Weekend

A couple weekends ago, I traveled to Laasss Veegasss – aka ‚ÄúSin City‚ÄĚ. One of my¬†dearest friends¬†is getting married in September and we celebrated her Bachelorette Party in Vegas (#mrsdamndaniel)! We did a lot of sight-seeing during the day and danced the night away during the evenings. Big thanks to Jean and Alea for planning¬†out the weekend! Here are some of my favorite photos from the¬†trip.

Bellagio_3 Bellagio_6.JPG Bellagio_9.JPG Caesars Palace_2.JPG Commonwealth_1.jpg Drais_1.jpg Hoover Dam_4.JPG Hoover Dam_5.jpg Hoover Dam_6.JPG Hoover Dam_8.JPG Las Vegas_1.JPG Las Vegas_3.JPGLas Vegas_7.JPG Las Vegas_7.JPGLinq_2.JPG Linq_6.JPG Linq_12.JPG Linq_17.JPG MGM_3.JPG Omnia_1.jpg Ramen.jpg Serendipity_2.JPG Yusho_2

Christmas 2015!

I hope you all had a wonderful time during the holidays! December was a whirlwind of craziness for us. Every weekend was packed with parties, events, decorating and Christmas shopping. In addition to all the craziness that comes before the holidays, Toni was recently offered a job at Verizon! He had been wanting this job since the beginning of the summer, so I was extremely excited and happy that he was finally hired!

Last year was the first time I had a real Christmas tree and¬†I don’t think I will¬†ever go back to having a fake one. Although it¬†can be messy, I just love the smell of a¬†fresh Christmas tree. This year I¬†went overboard on the decorations. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a¬†lot of photos of our Christmas decor – but I was able to capture some of it in our video below. I tend to over decorate the condo in attempt to make it feel like the holiday season since it’s summer¬†all year-round here.¬†Growing up in Alaska,¬†I¬†still miss the snow and winter weather at this time of year!

Our Christmas Eve was spent at the Ong residence. The best part of the evening was watching Sophie and Trace open their Christmas gifts! They are so cute! This was the first year Trace was able to open his own gifts and he loved ripping the wrapping paper off the presents Рhe would open one gift and immediately start unwrapping the next one without looking at the gift itself. Sophie and Trace received a mountain of presents this year and it was fun to see what they got from Santa this year. We even got to play with some of their toys!

Toni and I made it home by midnight to open our Christmas presents. We let the pups open their gifts first, which they loved! I was surprised to see them completely unwrap their gifts without my help…it was pretty awesome and I was able to capture them unwrapping their gifts on video! However, there were a lot of fights between Roshe and Bordeaux – they both got a lot of toys, but they always seem to want to play with the same toy at the same time. There was definitely some kind of sibling jealousy going on. Anyway, we ended up passing out after opening our gifts. I would have to say the highlight of my Christmas was watching the kiddos and pups¬†open their gifts! Seeing the excitement and joy in their faces just warms my¬†heart. Love it.

Christmas 2015_14Christmas 2015_22Christmas 2015_19DChristmas 2015_27Christmas 2015_28Christmas 2015_25Christmas 2015_29

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑